Walk in the Frank Melville Memorial Park in the winter after a snowfall is a solitary experience of fresh beauty
Fondest memory: During the Three Village Historical Society's Candlelight House Tour in the Three Villages we walked the Park with new-fallen snow and enjoyed the company of nature on our walk.
See The Village Greens in Setauket and Stony Brook, Long Island, New York (see my Stony Brook page) - 60 miles east of New York City - here is an area that is green and beautiful, peaceful, historic and interesting. In Setauket, the Village Green is surrounded by the 1729 Caroline Church of Brookhaven (Episcopal), the 1811 Setauket Presbyterian Church (third church building on the site - first in 1672), and the 1892 Queen Anne Style Emma S. Clark Memorial Library. In addition there are the two cemeteries with stones dating back to before the American Revolutionary War. Buried here is Abraham Woodhull one of the spies during the War. The Village green is still very much like it was when the area was first settled in 1655. The Native Americans, called Setalcotts, meaning 'Land at the mouth of the creek,' inhabited Setauket when the first English colonists arrived. These members of the Algonquian family of Indians have been here for over 8,000 years.
On the north side of the green is the Three Village Garden Club Sanctuary with many wonderful paths through the Sanctuary and Arboritum. A short walk to the west (one-quarter mile) brings you to the Setauket Mill Pond and the Frank Melville Memorial Park, with its Greek Revival post office and reconstructed grist mill. There are over 300 native plants in this park around the lower mill pond.
Fondest memory: The Village Green in Stony Brook is also surrounded by history. The area has many historic homes dating to the 1800s and the Village Green is surrounded by a unified colonial-style shopping center of interesting shops which was designed and built by Ward Melville in the 1940s. This attractive area of shops and homes is a delightful find for local tourists. Across from the Village green is the Three Village Inn, an award winning restaurant and inn that dates to the 18th century. Just south of the green is an operating grist mill that was built in 1754. One-half mile to the south, a short walk along the Stony Brook and the Stony Brook Mill Pond, is the Museums at Stony Brook, including a history
useum, carriage museum and art museum as well as many historic buildings such as the Samuel West blacksmith shop and the Nassakeag one-room school house. PHOTO - WILLIAM SIDNEY MOUNT AT HIS GRAVE SITE - SPIRITS OF THE THREE VILLAGES CEMETERY TOUR - SETAUKET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH GRAVEYARD - SETAUKET VILLAGE GREEN - TAKES PLACE IN OCTOBER EACH YEAR
Pick up a walking tour guide from the Three Village Historical Society, 93 North Country Road, or from the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library, across from the Setauket Village Green.
Spring, a time of renewal for the environment and for me as well. This is the time of year when many of our thoughts turn to the prospect of going somewhere on vacation and enjoying the beauty of another places. It is not often that we think of the wonderful possibility of taking a vacation in our own backyard, in our own beautiful Three Village area, but the possibilities are endless, and this is my best memory.
There are many areas of my community, area largely unexplored, that I can not see often enough; the morning mist that hides the blue heron on the Setauket Mill pond, the sunrise from Old Field Point on a clear morning when the Thimble Islands are almost visible on the Connecticut coast, or the sunset at Stony Brook Harbor when layers of clouds paint the horizon with shades of blue, yellow, orange and red.
This is one of the best times of the year to explore, on foot, the miles of beaches that stretch from Stony Brook, past West Meadow Beach to Crane Neck Point, past Flax Pond, past Old Field Point to the entrance to Port Jefferson Harbor. In between are the many salt marshes, sand dunes, estuaries, bays, creeks and inlets that make this area so beautiful. Each can be explored in turn and every time of day along the waters edge that faces west and north and east has a special magic of its own.
Fondest memory: PHOTO: FRANK MELVILLE MEMORIAL PARK, SETAUKET-LOOKING NORTH AT THE MILL DAM, BRIDGE AND MILL
Walking into the Frank Melville Memorial Park in Setauket over many days during the next month can surprise even the most observant nature lover. There are more than 300 different plants and trees in the park and many will bloom in various textures and colors as the warmth of the season softens the ground and awakens the diversity that nature thrives on in its plants and animals. Rhododendrons, white and black birch trees, azaleas, dogwood and cat-tails all growing together in a union of conflicting harmony reminds us that God intends that our differences provide us with beauty, strength and protection all at the same time.
A walk in the Three Village Garden Club's arboretum and sanctuary which connects to the Frank Melville Memorial Park provides a solitary view of parts of our landscape that have not changed in many hundreds of years. There are many other places to explore here as well, especially as spring gives way to summer and many more attractions open for the season, including many natural beauties such as dogwood and mountain laurel.
The Thompson House, Setauket Neighborhood House, Emma S. Clark Memorial Library and the two historic churches on the Village Green in Setauket provide glimpses of different periods of architecture in Setauket.
There is a lot for me to explore and appreciate right here at home. For further information on any aspect of the Three Village history (Setauket/East Setauket and Stony Brook) visit the Three Village Historical Society's WEB site at http://www.threevillagehistoricalsociety.org
Walking in the evening after a snow fall
Fondest memory: The Frank Melville Memorial Park is lit for the holiday season